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That’s the way it looks from here

“That’s the way it looks from here” is a magic phrase. Maine weatherman Lou McNally has used these words for years and in this video Craig explains that they don’t just apply to weather but also apply to helping groups make good decisions.

Here’s what Craig says in the video

Hi everybody. Hey it’s Craig Freshley here.

We have a weatherman here in Maine, his name is Lou McNally. Actually he used to be called Altitude Lou and he’s been delivering weather forecasts here as long as I can remember. And for as long as I can remember he has ended every one of his weather forecasts with the words, “That’s the way it looks from here.”

I love those words. Those are magic words when we are in a meeting or trying to make decisions with other people, because they don’t presume that I know how it is for everyone. If I make a statement that does presume to know the universal truth, or know the facts as they exist for every other person, I invite defensiveness. I invite conflict. I shut down conversation. But if I make a statement like, “That’s the way it looks from here,” or “That’s how I see it,” then I allow other people to have different truths, to experience different weather, to see things differently. And I invite them to share how it is for them.

When Lou McNally says, “That’s the way it looks from here,” he’s not assuming that his weather that he’s experiencing, or even that he sees on his monitors, is the same for every other person in the state of Maine; or that his forecast is going to be true later in the day everywhere in the state. It’s simply how it looks from where he is at that place and time.

Also, it’s how it looks based on his personal experience and knowledge. And you know, how things look always depends on where we sit. And depends on our experience to date. We have different understandings of situations and how it looks always depends on our own perspective.

So if you are trying to help a group make good decisions, that’s the way it looks from here!

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